There is only one topic of conversation today, and that is the results of the What Car? Awards.
If you’re unaware of the awards, they are run by the team behind What Car?, one of the UK’s most popular motoring and consumer magazines. The awards themselves have been running for over 30 years, and previous winners include the Ford Fiesta (twice), Land Rover Freelander and Vauxhall Astra – the latter way back in 1980.
We’ve reported on some of the bigger winners of the awards including Jaguar Land Rover and Seat, but there were plenty of other awards to go round after What Car? named a total of 18 winners.
One of the most exciting and contested categories is that of the hot hatch. The Ford Focus RS500, Seat Leon Cupra R, Citroen DS3 Racing and Alfa Romeo MiTo Cloverleaf are all worthy competitors, and the Volkswagen Golf GTI is a formidable opponent.
However, the Renault Megane Renaultsport 250 Cup was the eventual winner, successfully defending the title it won last year at the awards.
In an otherwise quiet year for French manufacturers (although the Peugeot 3008 took the Crossover crown for a second consecutive year), the 247bhp turbocharged Renault model kept the flag flying, highlighting the brand’s continued ability to turn out some of the best hot hatches seen on UK roads.
Elsewhere, Ford will be disappointed to not take the supermini category with the evergreen Ford Fiesta, the UK’s most popular car in 2010, but another model from the Ford garage more than made up for the disappointment.
The Ford Mondeo saloon and estate picked up the Family Car and Estate categories respectively. With all the focus on the British-built EcoBoost petrol engines from the manufacturer, it was also interesting to see both models were chosen with 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engines.
This is clearly down to the Mondeo’s popularity with businesses. The low running costs and upmarket feel are huge advantages to fleet operators, and the Mondeo’s enduring name is sure to boost commercial sales.
The What Car? Car of the Year 2011 was the Audi A1, but a quick scan of the category winners show how good 2010 was in terms of new cars.
2011 looks to be equally impressive, and What Car? can rest assured there will be a huge variety of contenders for next years’ crown.